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Submitted: 10-20-2004 by walleyenerd
I have the Flexcore version in Tuf-weave. It could be a little lighter (mine seems to weigh a touch more than advertised, though my scale may not be entirely accurate), but I ended up paying $700 for a brand new canoe. I can deal with the slight weight penalty.
I took a four day solo trip this past spring. The total load I was carrying was about 340 pounds. That included a 70 pound Chesapeake. I was really happy with the way she handled the wind and waves when loaded, and when empty in the evening while fishing. I was real happy with the speed I was able to maintain. I generally use a bent shaft paddle with the sit-and-switch technique. I switch to a straight shaft when I am fishing (trolling) and paddle with a C-stroke then. Both techniques have their place.
I was most impressed with how she rode out waves. On the last morning of my trip there was a 15-20 mph wind that was kicking up waves that were about 1 foot (I don't believe reports of canoeing in 2-3 footers on small lakes, either dumb or not a good guess on wave height) with whitecaps. Things were a bit ticklish when the waves were directly on the beam, but quartering or heading directly into them was fine. I did slow down going into the waves just so that I wouldn't spear them, with unpleasant results.
In the wind it really helps to be properly trimmed. The sliding seat makes that quicker and easier than without. Any high performance hull will tend to have quirks when things are not in trim. I have had the boat out without cargo (just the dog and a small day pack) in about a 25 mile per hour wind (small bay w/o significant waves) and didn't have any problems with directional control. I had to work a bit harder to make her go straight, but I expected that.
I have been satisfied with the turning even without heeling over. You simply use a sweep stroke. Heeling over will allow a quicker turn though.
When I used her to paddle up a small windy river the Prism was clearly out of her element, even with a lot of heeling. The current just grabbed the bow and I couldn't make some curves w/o a few tries.
I guess to summarize this boat I would say that she is a sweet boat that paddles very well light and loaded. When I went on my solo trip I found that I did a lot more poking around off of my most direct route. The Prism paddles so easily that going off of my most direct path was not an issue.
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